Baldoquin's path unclear after Simmons trade
Halos in no hurry to develop shortstop prospect from Cuba
ANAHEIM -- When the Angels signed Roberto Baldoquin out of Cuba last December, the hope was that he would be ready to take over as their everyday shortstop by the start of the 2017 season.
Now, the path is nebulous.
The Angels acquired Andrelton Simmons on Thursday, parting ways with fellow shortstop Erick Aybar and their two top prospects -- starting pitchers Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis -- in order to lock down the position for the next five years. The trade was made at least partly because it didn't seem Baldoquin, 21, would be ready by the end of the 2016 season, at which point Aybar will be a free agent.
Baldoquin struggled mightily with his first taste of professional baseball in the United States, largely because he hadn't played organized ball in a couple of years. He missed seven weeks early on with a shoulder injury and finished the season with a .235/.266/.294 slash line and 12 errors in 77 games for Class A Advanced Inland Empire.
The Angels signed Baldoquin for $8 million, a commitment that cost them about $15 million due to international guidelines and restricted them from acquiring anyone for more than $300,000 in the next two signing periods.
Baldoquin experimented at third and second base during the club's instructional league workouts and has played both positions in the past. But for now, he'll remain at shortstop.
"We'll let him develop without having to turn an eye towards him and put a clock on him," Angels general manager Billy Eppler said. "If he comes, and when he comes, that will be when the time will be appropriate to make a decision."